Managing Reasonable Accommodations for Employees Who Are Significantly Disabled

COVID-19 and What It’s Doing to Disability Compliance
October 16, 2021

Managing Reasonable Accommodations for Employees Who Are Significantly Disabled

By Rachel Shaw

@Work Magazine, September 2021

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was put in place to help people with disabilities. But today, too few significantly disabled Americans are able to enter or stay in the workforce.

Many human resource practitioners are experiencing accommodation fatigue. We spend the vast majority of our time managing accommodations related to issues such as conflicts with supervisors or an employee’s inability to maintain regular and reliable attendance. Given the sliver of time we have left, when we meet someone who is significantly disabled, we sometimes assume the worst: that we will not be able to find a reasonable accommodation for them.

The burden of researching and understanding options may fall to the disabled person, who must know how to accommodate their particular restrictions and teach others how to do that. As disability compliance practitioners, how can we revolutionize this and help relieve our employees of this burden? What should you do when you are faced with a significantly disabled candidate or employee?

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